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Thread: Mozart performed on Period Instruments

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    Seems like all my favorites have been mentioned. I'm doing a non-HIP thing right now practicing Tarrega's transcription of the minuet from string quartet K421 on a modern classical guitar. It would be HIP if I used my Torres copy with gut-strings...

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taplow View Post
    the Jordi Savall/Capella Reial de Catalunya recording of the Requiem on AliaVox, in particular.

    Thanks for your suggestion. I will listen to the samples of this recording as well.

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    Hi JSBach85,

    The Hogwood Mozart Requiem is very beautiful, and worth hearing (& owning). He uses Richard Maunder's edition, which sought to expunge all of Sussmayr's contributions. As a result, there is no Sanctus and Benedictus, as Maunder concluded these sections contained no genuine Mozart. The Lacrimosa is also largely reworked, with Maunder using material from the Introit. He also uses a rediscovered Mozart sketch for The Amen section of the Lacrimosa, which is fascinating. Basically, Maunder takes the view that Sussmayr was no Mozart. And, if you think about it, how high an opinion could Mozart really have had of his 25 year old student, considering that Constanza subsequently asked several other composers to complete her husband's work--who all declined--before asking Sussmayr to do so. (I would imagine that Mozart must have had a discussion with Constanza about which composers to ask, before he died, despite that he was desperately trying to finish the work himself. Wouldn't it have been interesting if Constanza had asked Beethoven or F.J. Haydn?, and one of them had said "yes"...)

    Of course, the problem with getting rid of all of Sussmayr's contributions is that he may well have been working directly from Mozart's sketches for the Sanctus, Benedictus, and Lacrimosa (& elsewhere), and/or possibly composing in accordance with Mozart's last minute wishes and instructions. It also obviously leaves the Mass that much more unfinished and incomplete.

    Hence, the Hogwood recording is unique, & radically so when it first came out in the mid-1980s. If you're going to acquire multiple recordings of the Requiem, then yes, I'd say it does make sense to own Hogwood's. As personally I've found it of value to hear the work stripped of Sussmayr's contributions. I would also add that Hogwood was, IMO, one of the finest Mozart conductors on the period scene for many years, with a great deal of experience conducting a wide range of Mozart works. For me, it shows in the excellence of his interpretations, whether he was conducting the complete symphonies, or the wind, violin, & piano concertos, or the choral works, etc.--that is, unless you have an aversion, as some people do, to the grittier sound and playing of the Academy of Ancient Music's period strings--compared to today's period groups--from the early days of the period revival in the 1980s.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Requie...mozart+Requiem

    As for Suzuki, I haven't heard his Mozart Requiem. It did receive a number of awards from the British rags (BBC & Gramophone), but I don't recall what the critics at the International Record Review had to say about it (if anything). In my opinion, IRR was the finest of the British rags before the magazine sadly went out of print (as their critics would actually tell you when a Gardiner recording missed the mark, etc.). Personally, I tend to be a little wary of recordings that receive accolades from Gramophone (though BBC magazine may be a little better). Judging purely by the listening samples, I have to say I dislike what Suzuki does with the opening of the Kyrie in the Mass. He makes it sound almost bouncy, which I find strange. Though, admittedly, I haven't heard the performance, so I shouldn't comment any further.

    As for the unfinished "Great" Mass in C minor, it's one of my favorite works by Mozart. From the recordings I know, I'd say there are very few first rate recordings of this Mass in the catalogue, on period instruments or otherwise. At least, not when you consider that some of Mozart's most incredibly beautiful vocal writing comes in this mass, and therefore in order to do the music full justice it's essential that the two sopranos are first rate. With that in mind, it's difficult to find everything working together on a single recording--i.e., two wonderful sopranos, & male singers, first class Mozart conducting, combined with excellent choral singing and instrumental playing. In other words, it's rare to get the whole package.

    After such an exceptional Mozart Requiem, I was slightly disappointed with William Christie's Mass in C minor. (I admit I came to it with very high expectations.) It's not Christie's best Mozart conducting, in my view. Nor was I altogether won over by his singers. Nor has Gardiner's recording worn well on me over time. I think it's a bit overrated (like his Requiem). Among other period conductors that I've most liked in Mozart, neither Koopman, Bruggen, or Pinnock has recorded the Mass, unfortunately (as far as I can recall), nor has Jacobs: which leaves Hogwood and Peter Neumann. Both conductors have excellent sopranos--particularly Arleen Auger for Hogwood, and Barbara Schlick for Neumann. Of the two, Hogwood's recording remains my first choice among period recordings, though Neumann's performance is very solid and good (as is his whole Mozart series). I appreciate that there's no funny business or quirkiness from Neumann (as there was with Harnoncourt on Teldec), and consider his survey to be worth having at such an attractive discount price (currently $24 at Presto Classical), or very inexpensively per individual CD on Amazon.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Dawson...od+mass+mozart

    https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/cl...omplete-masses

    https://www.amazon.com/Mass-C-Minor-...nn+mass+mozart

    Having said that, another favorite recording of mine of Mozart's Mass in C minor is a live modern instrument performance from Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic on Sony, which offers some very beautiful singing from Barbara Bonney and Arleen Auger--who are among the two best sopranos I've heard in this work. Peter Schreier's recording in Dresden is also very good, except that I prefer Abbado's singers (while I prefer Schreier in the Requiem). While others have liked Raymond Leppard's old recording on EMI as their first choice.

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Mass-m...er+mass+mozart

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Mass-M...rd+mozart+mass

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Minor-...rd+mozart+mass

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Great-...er+mozart+mass

    Hope that helps.

    P.S. Don't forget about Harnoncourt's thrilling "wild & terrible" 2nd account of the Requiem (on hybrid SACD), as here his extremes (& rhythmic distortions) seem to work very well:

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Requie...mozart+Requiem
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jan-07-2018 at 02:25.

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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Hi Josquin,

    Do you know Herreweghe's Great C Minor Mass recording.

    I find the singers very good, but as it is my only recording of the work I have no basis for comparison.

    great mass.jpg
    Last edited by Malx; Jan-07-2018 at 01:42.

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    Hey Malx,

    Nice to see you on these threads. I do own Herreweghe's Mass in C minor, but it's been many years since I've heard it, as it's in storage: I'd say too many to offer any valuable comments on the performance. I don't recall being overly crazy about it, but I also don't remember it being a weak performance either. That's about all I can say, sorry!

    But yes, Herreweghe normally gets very good soloists & choral singers, which is rarely, if ever, a weakness on his recordings.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jan-07-2018 at 02:08.

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  8. #21
    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    Josquin,

    It's all a bit different around here in comparison to the old place but they say a change is as good as a rest!

    I am listening to Herreweghe right now and whilst I'm happy with the singing, and as yet I have yet to try and sample another recording, the one thing that occurs to me is that the orchestral playing seems a tad lacklustre but then again that could just be the way the work is.

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  10. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    I am listening to Herreweghe right now and whilst I'm happy with the singing, and as yet I have yet to try and sample another recording, the one thing that occurs to me is that the orchestral playing seems a tad lacklustre but then again that could just be the way the work is.
    The problem is Herreweghe, not the work. There's a definite lack of majesty in his interpretation.

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Anyone has listened recordings of the Opera "La clemenza di Tito" performed on period instruments? I have Jacobs/Freiburger Barockorchester recording on Harmonia Mundi but I see with great interest the following ones: Gardiner/English Baroque Soloists, Marchi/Academia Montis Regalis, Hogwood/AAM.

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    What is your favourite recording of symphony 41 "Jupiter"?

    With Jacobs/Freiburger Barockorchester I am not so convinced about the tempi:



    I am now listening to Bruggen/Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and as is more neutral, I am in general more satisfied with the performance:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Josquin13 View Post

    If anyone's interested, here's a list of my favorite "go-to" period conductors, musicians & ensembles for Mozart's music:

    Symphonies--conductors Christopher Hogwood, Frans Bruggen, and Ton Koopman. (Pinnock & Harnoncourt can be good too. In comparison, I liked Gardiner's at first, but over time, less & less so. I don't know Immerseel, Jacobs, or Minkowski's recordings.
    I do have the complete symphonies by Hogwood but I just ordered this recording after listening to it through youtube:



    It's the first time I listen a Mozart recording by Bruggen and I do like it. Great tempi and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century sounds excellent. Also I have been looking for more recordings of Symphony 40, one of my favourites and this one is among the top period instrument performances.

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    JSBACH85 asks, "What is your favourite recording of symphony 41 "Jupiter"?"

    I'll assume you mean on 'period' instruments, given the subject of the thread. The Jacobs 41 is too quirky for me. I also can't say that I'm overly keen on Bruggen's late "live in Rotterdam" 41 recording either, or most of his live Rotterdam Mozart or Beethoven symphonies for that matter: at least among those I've directly compared. Rather, I've almost consistently found that I prefer Bruggen's earlier Philips studio recordings by a good margin (with the same orchestra), & the live Rotterdam 41 is no exception.

    If I were pressed to pick just one Mozart "Jupiter" no. 41 on period instruments to take with me to my desert island, the choice would almost surely come down to Pinnock or Hogwood, & I might go with Pinnock for the slightly better playing and more recent sound quality. Although I do love the spirit of Hogwood's AAM performance, which is more rhythmic and dynamic than Pinnock's smoother take on this music. And, I'd probably place Bruggen 1 closely behind those two (though it depends on the day, as some days I really enjoy listening to Bruggen's Philips Mozart).

    Granted, those choices are more conservative, which seems a strange thing to say now, since they certainly weren't in the early days of the period revival. But by "conservative" I mean in relation to period recordings that have come out since: from Jacobs, Minkowski, Bruggen 2, Immerseel, and possibly late Harnoncourt (in Vienna), which I've only heard parts of on You Tube.

    Ton Koopman's Erato recording is another "Jupiter" that might be worth checking out, as I've generally liked his Mozart series on Erato. Although it's been such a long time since I've heard his 41. It isn't at all fresh in my mind--so I shouldn't recommend it.





    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv1-RctSxVQ

    As for period recordings of "La clemenza di Tito", you might check out the recent Jeremie Rhorer recording with Le Cercle de L'Harmonie on the Alpha label. I haven't heard it myself but have read favorable reviews for the production & particularly the singers (though apparently Rhorer does adopt quick tempi in places, which may not be to all tastes):

    http://www.musicweb-international.co...t_Tito_270.htm
    https://www.operanews.com/Opera_News...a_di_Tito.html

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Clemen...Clemenza+alpha

    As for myself, I've liked the Drottingholm production of La clemenza di Tito, conducted by Arnold Östman. Though be warned that not everyone shares my enthusiasms for these authentic period productions, which use actual 18th scenery (discovered perfectly intact within the Drottingholm palace theater) that was contemporary to Mozart's time. (Note that Ingmar Bergman's wonderful film of The Magic Flute was also shot at the Drottingholm theater.) I should mention that the singers in the Drottingholm productions were not, for the most part, international 'stars', as they were on the later recordings that Östman made for L'Oiseau Lyre. Even so, I find these productions a lot of fun:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iuS2hdN3KM

    https://www.amazon.com/Mozart-Clemen...di+tito+ostman

    Other than that, I've been happy enough with Gardiner's recording of La Clemenza di Tito. But I haven't heard any other period recordings, including Teodor Currentzis HIP Music Aeterna recording from 2017, which I find is on YT in its entirety:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7Irbq5rfCo

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Josquin13; Jan-13-2018 at 03:14.

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    Mackerras later recording with SCO is very fine in SACD hybrid format...........

    and for old school many might turn to Bohm, Bernstein, but in a big surprise Klemp really delivers for me, I didn't expect the exciting lifted tempos from this guy......
    Last edited by DarkAngel; Jan-13-2018 at 06:39.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post


    Mackerras later recording with SCO is very fine in SACD hybrid format...........

    and for old school many might turn to Bohm, Bernstein, but in a big surprise Klemp really delivers for me, I didn't expect the exciting lifted tempos from this guy......
    The Klemperer recordings were also issued on SACD as part of EMI's quickly abandoned Signature Series. The sound is good for EMI recordings of that era. I think these may have used the same mastering as some very expensive Japanese SACDs of these recordings. (The Signature Series releases were quite moderately priced.)

    Perhaps Warner used the same mastering for its recent reissue.

    Edit - forgot for the moment that the topic was period instruments. I have the Pinnock cycle for that.
    Last edited by jegreenwood; Jan-13-2018 at 16:36.

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    Senior Member JSBach85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkAngel View Post


    Mackerras later recording with SCO is very fine in SACD hybrid format...........

    and for old school many might turn to Bohm, Bernstein, but in a big surprise Klemp really delivers for me, I didn't expect the exciting lifted tempos from this guy......
    As far as I know Otto Klemperer do not use period instruments neither under HIP performance. I do not know about Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras.

    Edited: Seems that Mackerras and Scottish Chamber Orchestra is an hybrid of period performance practice using modern instruments. is not unusual to find ensembles working like this.
    Last edited by JSBach85; Jan-13-2018 at 17:06.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSBach85 View Post
    As far as I know Otto Klemperer do not use period instruments neither under HIP performance. I do not know about Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Sir Charles Mackerras.

    Edited: Seems that Mackerras and Scottish Chamber Orchestra is an hybrid of period performance practice using modern instruments. is not unusual to find ensembles working like this.
    Your edit showed up as I was replying so I can only add that the booklet lists natural horns and natural trumpets, in other words the SCO is playing a mixture of modern and period instruments. Mackerras also does this on his Telarc Brahms Symphony cycle.

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